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How To Buy Skirt Steak

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Where Is The Skirt Steak On A Cow

How to grill skirt steak (and which kind to buy!)

Skirt steak is a cut of beef steak from the plate. It is not to be confused with flank steak, a generally similar adjacent cut nearer the animals rear quarter. The outside skirt steak is the trimmed, boneless portion of the diaphragm muscle attached to the 6th through 12th ribs on the underside of the short plate.

What Is Skirt Steak A Detailed Guide On This Lesser Known Cut

Skirt steak can be one of two different muscles on the cow, the outside and inside skirt. Well-marbled with a prominent textured grain, its great for marinating to take on flavor and is often used in fajitas. Its a lovely cut of beef. Learn all about it below.

Skirt steak has quickly become a family favorite because it can feed everyone on the cheap while still delivering a beefy hit for steak lovers.

Not to be confused with the similar looking Flank steak, the Skirt steak is a different cut, and we look at this more deeply in our skirt steak vs flank steak comparison article.

Popular in restaurants as the cut of choice for steak fajitas, stir fries, and other similar recipes, the skirt is a versatile piece of meat that can be used to deliver intense flavor.

It can be cooked quickly and easily, but it does need careful preparation otherwise, it can be ruined before youve even started.

After reading this guide, youll know exactly what the skirt steak is and why its so awesome, and we certainly wont be skirting around the details.

You will learn where on the cow its from, the best online shops to get it from, and how to prep and cook it like a pro.

So, lets get straight into the skirt!


  • 13 Conclusion
  • How To Cut Skirt Steak

    Skirt steak can be very tricky, and there is a secret to preparing and slicing the cut. If you did not handle this cut correctly, you will a shoe leather that will take years to chew. Using two simple secrets, you can make this beef tender: one is by slicing across the grain and is by removing the membrane. You can use your fingers to remove that membrane, and it will do the trick.

    If you cant catch up in this video, you will find out:

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    The Best Inexpensive Steak For The Grill Part : Skirt Steak

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    Of all the inexpensive cuts on the cow, the skirt is probably the greatest dollar-to-flavor value out there. Riddled with plenty of buttery, beefy fat with a deep, rich flavor and a tender, juicy texture, it’s a tough cut not to like. Indeed, I’d say that its flavor is even better than the ribeye and far superior to a relatively bland tenderloin or New York strip.

    That is, it’s a tough cut not to like if you’ve had it cooked and sliced properly. All too often you’ll head out to a mid-rate taqueria where the skirt steak sits around in a piles on the edge of the griddle, slowly overcooking and turning from tender, juicy, steak-fit-for-a-king into your typical tough, leathery, livery-flavored taco stuffing.

    Equally bad is the uncle who throws it onto a too-cool grill, forgets to rest it, then slices it improperly, reducing it to inedibly tough rubber bands.

    Do NOT be this uncle. Your family may still love you, but they certainly won’t like you.

    Here’s how to treat skirt steak right.

    Grass Fed Beef Preparation & Cooking Tips

    Inside Skirt Steak
    • Sear on High heat. Then, use lower heat to finish cooking .
    • Use less cooking time when grilling or frying grass fed steaks .
    • We recommend using a food thermometer to monitor temperature.
    • Keep temperature to mediumdo not overcook!
    • See our Recipes Page for more info on preparation and cooking techniques.
    • Visit our Beef Guide for photos and descriptions of specific grass-fed beef cuts .
    • Have a question about grass-fed beef? Check out our FAQ .

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    How To Use It

    Pat your steak dry with paper towels, then sprinkle a generous amount of rub on one side of the steak. Use your fingers and hands to rub the spice blend into the steak. Flip and repeat on the other side.

    Though you can immediately cook the steak, if you let it sit at room temperature for an hour the rub will penetrate the meat and give a deeper flavor. You can even cover and let it sit overnight in the fridge for a more robust flavor.

    Once its ready, grill or fry in a pan as you normally would. You can even sous vide the steak with rub on it, though I would add more rub right before reverse-searing it.

    What Does Skirt Steak Taste Like

    The skirt steak is big on flavor due to its unique marbling. Its fatty muscles give it a distinct, beefy yet buttery flavor. Some people compare it to the rich flavor of liver, but with better consistency.

    The steak has open grains and ridges that work well for marinadesit soaks spices and herbs to ooze more intense flavor.

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    Our Top 10 Best Way To Grill Skirt Steak On The Market

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    Where To Buy Skirt Steak

    How to Trim a Skirt Steak and Save Six Bucks a Pound

    You should be able to find skirt steak in the meat department of your supermarket, more often the inside skirt versus the outside skirt Most of the surface fat should have been removed by the butcher.

    Although skirt steak and flank steak are two different cuts of meat, the two are referred to interchangeably. But they should both be labeled separately as such.

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    How To Cook Skirt Steak

    Both outside and inside skirt have a good amount of fat within and between the muscle strands, which helps keep it moist when grilling it. The grain on the inside skirt is a little bit wider, so it might have slightly more fat.

    A lot of skirt steak recipes call for marinating the meat before grilling it, and because of its looser structure, skirt steak will absorb the flavors of the marinade quite well. But thereâs no need to marinate it for more than 30 minutes or so, as .

    Since skirt steak is tough, the best way to cook it is very quickly over the hottest grill you can get. As a matter of fact, some people will even skip the grill altogether and cook it directly on the coals. This actually works quite well, because you do not want to overcook skirt steak. Cooking it directly on the coals gets the surface of the meat nice and brown very quickly, without cooking the inside of the meat for too long. Ideal doneness is medium-rare to medium.

    Most importantly, skirt steak absolutely must be sliced thinly against the grain. Because itâs so long, your best bet is to cut it into shorter sections first and then slice those sections across the grain.

    How To Prepare Flank Steak For Grilling Or Smoking

    Set yourself up for success by prepping your flank before you start grilling. Just follow these simple steps.

    You should not need to trim anything off your flank steak since theres very little fat already. That means you can move straight to marinating or rubbing.

    The heavy grain allows this cut to take marinade nicely, adding a lot of flavor and tenderness. You could also opt for a seasoned rub, including salt, to tenderize and flavorize before grilling.

    For a more hands-on approach to tenderizing, you might want to hammer your flank steak with a tenderizing mallet. Unlike the skirt, the flank is thick enough to make this an option.

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    What’s The Difference Between Skirt Steak And Flank Steak

    Skirt steak is much fattier than flank steak. The way that the fat is marbleized throughout the meat results in a cut that is much more flavorful, and more forgiving when you cook it.

    Unlike flank steak, which because it’s so lean needs to be cooked rare or it gets too dry, skirt steak can be cooked all the way through without suffering.

    You still need to cut the steak across the grain when you cut your strips, but the skirt steak will be tender and flavorful because of the fat.

    What To Serve With Skirt Steak

    Inside Skirt Steaks, Set of 3

    These thin strips of steak are perfect for use in fajitas. Just heat up some sliced peppers and onions and maybe give them a little char. Throw them on some corn tortillas with salsa verde and sour cream and it will be awesome!

    Another great way of serving this steak is to head over to the produce cooler at Costco and buy a prepackaged Caesar salad. Assemble the salad and top with the cooked steak for another amazing meal option.

    And hey, as long as you are on a buying spree, make sure to pick up one of those Prime Costco briskets to throw on you pit this weekend!

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    Where Does The Inside Skirt Steak Come From

    The inside skirt steak is just below and a little further back the outside skirt steak. It goes deeper into the body wall which is where the name comes from and is wider because of fats.

    It is in the middle of the body of the cow and is right below the ribs. Because of its relatively higher fat content, the inside skirt steak extends to the lower parts ribs.

    This cut of meat extends to the beef flank primal cut. However, when a butcher prepares it properly, it is cut from the ribs, leaving the other part of the meat to the flank.

    The inside skirt steak usually weighs more than the outside skirt steak. However, when cooked, the inside skirt steak shrinks more because of the more compact muscle content.

    The outside skirt steak, since it has a bit of space between the muscles, shrinks less. Along with its evenly cut shape, the lesser shrinkage is what makes it great for restaurant meals.

    Varieties Of Skirt Steak

    The skirt steak you purchase or eat will either be outside skirt or inside skirt. Outside skirt is attached to the outside of the chest wall , running diagonally from the 6th to the 12th rib. It’s covered with a thick membrane which is the diaphragm itself .

    Inside skirt is situated below and a little bit further back from the outside skirt. It is located within the body wall itself, which is why it’s called “inside.” The inside skirt muscle lies flat across the lower part of the ribs and extends even beyond the ribs, into the beef flank primal cut, which is part of the hindquarter of the animal. As a result, a wide flap of meat at the rear of the transversus abdominis muscle is usually excluded and ends up part of the flank instead.

    Outside skirt is a bit thicker than the inside skirt and it’s more uniform in shape. Inside skirt is thinner, with a slightly more irregular shape. A whole inside skirt might weigh two pounds an outside skirt may be a bit less. But inside skirt will shrink a bit more when you cook it as the muscle fibers tighten up.

    Because of its thickness and regular shape, the outside skirt is what restaurants and other foodservice operations prefer to use for making fajitas and other grilled skirt steak dishes.

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    Is Skirt Steak The Same As Flank Steak

    Where its from: Skirt steak is a thin, long cut of beef from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. Flavor and texture: Skirt steak has even more intense beefy flavor than flank steak. It does contain more tough muscles than flank steak, though, so should only be cooked to rare or medium rare for the most tender texture.

    Prepare Your Skirt Steak The Night Before

    How to Buy a Steak (Cuts, Grades, Aging, and more!)
  • Cut off any visible fat off the skirt steak, including any silver skin. Silver skin is that sheer skin sometimes covering meat. S.
  • Pat your skirt steak dry. .
  • Lay the skirt steak flat. With a sharp knife, cut criss crosses all along the the top so make Xs everywhere. Do not cut into the meat to much just use the tip of your knife and do it gently and with patience. Cutting Xs into the meat will break up the tough connective tissue. Do this on both sides.
  • Using a meat pounder/ and tenderizer, pound out your skirt steak to break up the connective tissues even more.
  • Season very generously with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap or cover and refrigerate overnight. I personally always use a glass container with a lid, but many people prefer zip locks I just dont like anything plastic touching my food longer than it has to.
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    Whats The Difference Between Inside And Outside Skirt Steak

    Id venture a guess, nothing scientific here, just a guessthat the average carnivore doesnt know therere two types of skirt steak. Id also guess that if youve had skirt steak in the past it was most likely inside skirt more on that later. My final guess is that if youre reading this blog its because you know or heard that there are in fact, two different cuts of skirt steak and curiosity got the best of you so you Googled: Whats the difference between Inside and Outside Skirt Steak?

    However you got here, let me start by extending a sincere thank you for stopping by and encourage you to check out the BEST way to cook a skirt steak, its a game changer. Top it with some chimichurri and youll make an $8 home cooked steak taste better than any $50 steak youd buy at your local fancy steakhouse.


    Anyway, back to the subject at hand, whats the difference between inside and outside skirt steak? While they are both long and thin cuts of meat with a thick grain to them, they differ in many ways. In appearance the outside skirt is both longer and wider than the inside skirt. It is also about 50% thicker.

    What Is Skirt Steak

    Inside and outside skirt are pretty similar both are long, flat muscles with very thick grain that runs across the length of the muscle. These narrow pieces of meat can be about 20 to 24 inches long and three to four inches across once they’ve been trimmed.

    Because there are only two skirt steaks per side of beef, one inside and one outside, pretty much every outside skirt from every side of beef ends up in a commercial kitchen of some kind. So when you see skirt steak at the butcher shop, it will almost always be an inside skirt.

    Outside skirt is encased in a membrane which needs to be removed before preparing it. If the meat has been dry-aged, that membrane will be like paper and will peel off pretty easily. With wet-aged meat, the membrane will be wet, and it’s a little bit trickier to peel it off without tearing the meat. A good butcher will have peeled and trimmed the steak before sale.

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    Don’t Use Old Herbs And Spices

    Old herbs and spices mean less flavor. And for this spice blend, we definitely want newer dried herbs and spices!

    Dried spices and herbs have a shelf life of about two years when properly stored, depending on the spice or herb. To test potency, crumble some of the herb or spice into the palm of your hand with your fingers. If you can barely smell it or its dusty smelling, its time to get some new stuff!

    Pro tip: Use an airtight glass jar to mix the ingredients together and youll save on cleanup!

    Best Way To Grill Skirt Steak Reviews In 2021

    Outside Skirt Steak

    This article will help you choose the right way to grill skirt steak with more ease. We have taken into consideration the varied needs and wants of all segments of consumers to give you the perfect guide on how to pick the right product. So that you can shop worry-free!

    Disclaimer: We are using Amazon affiliate Product Advertising API to fetch products from Amazon, include: price, content, image, logo, brand, feature of products which are trademarks of So, when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.. Read more.


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